Looking Ahead: 6 Employer Branding Trends to Watch Out For in 2018

It may seem like it’s been a long time since January 1, but 2018 is still young. It’s a good time to look ahead and identify trends for the coming year. As always, we’re focused on employer branding trends – what’s going to stop, start, grow, and continue in 2018, and how we can leverage those trends to bring our clients the very best in employer branding services. So what’s on the horizon?

1. Less of a requirement for the employer brand to look exactly like the corporate brand.

While your employer branding strategy and your corporate branding strategy need to complement one another, they are two different things, and successful organizations are increasingly recognizing that difference. Your employer brand needs to target specific demographics and reflect the market it wants to attract. This doesn’t mean that your employer branding strategy will ever be at odds with your corporate strategy – it just means your branding dollars will have more net sum impact.

2. Employer branding is getting more and more creative.

There’s no question that social media will continue to be an immensely effective channel; but it’s time to let your branding strategy “out of the box” and consider other channels, other media, and other approaches. Effective employer branding can’t keep doing what it’s done before – just as your organization is a living, changing entity, so too must your employer branding strategy always be evolving. Think video, storytelling, podcasts, events, and other dynamic approaches. And when you’re considering channels, keep in mind unconventional places like movie theatres, interactive digital boards on college and university campuses, and wraps for elevators, subway platforms, and busses. The fresher the better – Blu Ivy has some great ideas for your consideration in 2018!

3. Organizations will be increasingly strategic about their paid advertising.

With more channels in the mix, organizations need to optimize their cost-per-application – this is where we start talking about data and analytics. The more data you track, the stronger your employer branding strategy will be – for example, analytics tell us which job boards are most effective for specific roles, regions, and skills sets. As you track your success based on your objectives, you’ll be able to decide which channel to use, and when. Social media will be one integral, but not exclusive, component of your strategic mix of channels, and leveraging that mix will optimize your time and investment.

4. Did we mention data and analytics?

Another trend this year will be increased measurement of brand strength – first, setting key metrics and targets for an employer branding scorecard. Once that’s done, organizations will be measuring quarterly, to track the success of their initiatives, assess areas for improvement and/or change, and to back those decisions up with good, hard data.

5. New focus on aligning the Employee Value Proposition (EVP) with the “employee experience.”

A company’s culture, employees, and candidate life-cycle – looked at holistically represent the “employee experience.” As retention and engagement of employees becomes a growing issue to both culture and the bottom line, the employee experience is emerging as its own distinct initiative. Shaping and defining the EVP provides an important foundation for the employee experience. A well-branded employee experience results in engagement levels jumping by as much as 40%, and voluntary turnover dropping by 20%. Blu Ivy Group helps its clients embed their EVP into the full employee, and candidate, experiences – from recruiting to onboarding and performance management, ensuring a consistent narrative and brand, both internally and publicly.

6. Build a strong team of brand ambassadors.

One secret to EVP Success is enabling and inspiring your employees to become brand ambassadors. You have an army of potential ambassadors and it’s up to you to engage them creatively and thoughtfully. Social media sharing is important, but there is so much more! Employees you already have are an extremely valuable resource, especially in creating trust and interest among candidates, helping you tell the brand story, and developing a pipeline of valuable job application referrals. If you involve your employees in shaping and defining your EVP, they will be ready to promote it. What you need is a Brand Ambassador Program, one which empower your staff to celebrate themselves, their work culture, and the contributions they make – you’ll be surprised by how amazing the results will be.

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